Psychology Colloquium: Seeking signatures of perceptual experience in human visual cortex. Sam Schwarzkopf, University of Auckland
Associate Professor Sam Schwarzkopf, School of Optometry & Vision Science, University of Auckland
Sam did a neuroscience degree at Cardiff University and subsequently decided to stay there also to do his PhD with Frank Sengpiel where he used optical imaging to investigate experience-dependent plasticity of visual cortex. Subsequently, he did a brief postdoc project at the University of Birmingham, where he moved into human neuroimaging and cognitive neuroscience. In 2008, he moved to University College London to postdoc with Geraint Rees and developed a research interest in individual differences. In 2012, he was awarded a ERC Starting Grant and set up his own lab at UCL. In 2017, he decided he had enough of Brexit, crowds, air pollution, and the banana republic that the UK had become and moved to the School of Optometry & Vision Science at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, although he still maintains an active affiliation at UCL.
In this talk, I will present the results of three studies using population receptive field (pRF) modelling to better understand how representations in human visual cortex generate our perceptual experience. First, we estimated the neural signature of the famous Muller-Lyer illusion in V1 supporting a low-level explanation for this effect. Next, we established that pRF sizes in visual cortex can be modulated by adaptation, an effect that is consistent with behaviourally measured modulation of spatial frequency perception. Beyond visual object size, this finding has implications for the perception of blur and recognising fine spatial detail. Finally, we also used a novel data-driven method for estimating pRFs to map the retinotopic structure of the physiological blind spot in detail. We then used these maps to ask if there is a neural correlate of perceptual completion in early visual cortex.
This is a Hybrid event so you can join in person or via the Webinar link below:
HEYDON LAURENCE LECTURE THEATRE 217 (DT ANDERSON) (You are encouraged to please wear a mask if attending in person)
Webinar Link: https://uni-sydney.zoom.us/s/87579289391